In Britain, and also in Canada, the USA, and Australia, 'Jack' is the name routinely used in *fairytales for a resourceful, lucky hero, who may also sometimes be unscrupulous or a trickster. Henry Mayhew in his London Labour and the London Poor ((1861), iii. 189-90) describes how a 16-year-old boy in a London workhouse told him a story he called 'Clever Jack', about the exploits of a daring and witty young robber who outwitted various rich gentlemen and a parson. The boy said men in the casual ward of the workhouse sometimes took turns telling stories: 'romantic tales, some; others blackguard kind of tales, about thieving and roguery; not so much about what they'd done themselves, as about some big thief that was very clever at stealing, and could trick anybody. Not stories such as Dick Turpin or Jack Sheppard or things that's in history, but inventions.' The boy added that 'the best man in the story is always called Jack'.
   The name has long been used with the implication 'typical (young) man', from nursery-rhyme characters to 'Jack Tar' for a sailor, and modern slang phrases like 'I'm all right, Jack' and 'Jack-the-lad'. The murderer who called himself 'Jack the Ripper' had a sinister sense of humour.
   Several English tales with a 'Jack' as hero were collected in the 19th century, and others in the 20th century from Gypsies (Briggs, 1970-1: A. i. 322-5; Philip, 1992: 18-42, 54, 127-32). For Canadian examples, derived from British and Irish tradition, see Herbert Halpert and J. D. A. Widdowson, The Folktales of Newfoundland (1996).

A Dictionary of English folklore. . 2014.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • jack — jack …   Dictionnaire des rimes

  • Jack — (j[a^]k), n. [F. Jacques James, L. Jacobus, Gr. ?, Heb. Ya aq[=o]b Jacob; prop., seizing by the heel; hence, a supplanter. Cf. {Jacobite}, {Jockey}.] [1913 Webster] 1. A familiar nickname of, or substitute for, John. [1913 Webster] You are John… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Jack — Artículos en Wikipedia Todas las páginas que comienzan por «Jack» Jack (en castellano: Juan / Santiago) puede referirse a: Contenido 1 Nombre …   Wikipedia Español

  • Jack FM — is the moniker and on air brand of 49 radio stations in Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom. Jack stations play a mix of 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s hits with some current hot adult contemporary singles. Jack stations use the… …   Wikipedia

  • Jack Ma — Jack Ma, 2008 Jack Ma (simplified Chinese: 马云; traditional Chinese: 馬雲; pinyin: Mǎ Yún; born September 10, 1964)[1] is founder, chairman and chief executive officer of Alib …   Wikipedia

  • JACK — Audio Connection Kit Entwickler: Paul Davis Aktuelle Version: 0.115.6 (28. November 2008) …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Jack — [dʒæk] ist ein Vorname und Familienname. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Herkunft und Bedeutung 2 Bekannte Namensträger 2.1 Vorname 2.2 Familien …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • jack — [ (d)ʒak ] n. m. • 1870; mot angl. ♦ Anglic. 1 ♦ Techn. Pièce commandant les aiguilles dans une machine de bonneterie. 2 ♦ (1880 jack knife [ dʒaknajf ] ) Commutateur de standard téléphonique manuel. Fiche mâle, à deux conducteurs coaxiaux. ⊗ HOM …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Jack'Da — Jack Daniel s Jack Daniel s Distillerie …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Jack's — (corporate headquarters: Homewood, Alabama), originally known as Jack s Hamburgers, is a fast food restaurant chain with locations in several southeastern states. It was founded in 1960 by Jack Caddell as a single walk up stand at in Homewood,… …   Wikipedia

  • Jack PC — (от англ. jack  разъём + PC  персональный компьютер)  компьютерное устройство, тонкий клиент, имеющий размеры настенной сетевой розетки. Разработан израильской компанией Chip PC Technologies. Монитор, клавиатура и компьютерная …   Википедия

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.